Barcelona has a fascinating literary history dating back more than five hundred years. Not for nothing was Barcelona named a UNESCO City of Literature. The publishing industry, writers, literary agencies, printers, distributors, proof-readers and translators, bookshops, libraries and literary events are part of the city's social fabric. Barcelona is recognised around the world as one of the most important publishing centres for Spanish and Latin American literature. It is also the publishing capital for books in Catalan. More than three hundred publishing houses have their headquarters here, among them small and medium-sized publishers. The city also has a wide network of bookshops and libraries, some of them with collections specialising in specific themes, such as architecture, science, the circus and fashion.
Loving literature is, first and foremost, about devoting yourself to reading. But in Barcelona you'll also find a plethora of hotly anticipated literary festivals and events that reinvigorate the passion for reading of locals and visitors alike. The city also hosts numerous book awards that recognise the role of culture and literature around the world. However, the most eagerly awaited event is Sant Jordi, a veritable festival of literature and love that inspired UNESCO to declare the 23rd April World Book and Copyright Day in 1995. You won't want to miss out on this special day in Barcelona: the streets are crammed with stalls selling books and roses, authors take part in book signings around the city, and people go out for a leisurely stroll and buy books and roses.
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